S004285 SS/POLIZEI SOLDBUCH. (Soldbuch)

BACKGROUND: With the reintroduction of conscription in 1935, the OKW, Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, (High Command of the Armed Forces), activated the WEDs, Wehrersatzdienststelle, (Recruiting Offices), throughout Germany to process and administer the call up procedure. When individuals received their registration notice they were to report to the appropriate recruitment center where they would be issued a Wehrpass, (Military Pass), until they were inducted into active duty. Starting in the autumn of 1939, when an individual was inducted into active military service the Wehrpass was exchanged at the recruitment office for the Soldbuch, (Pay Book), which remained in the recipient’s possession as his official military identification document. The recruitment office would retain the Wehrpass and chronicle the individual’s active service record in it. Generally if the individual was killed in battle the Wehrpass would be forwarded to his next-of-kin as a memento of his service time, while the Soldbuch would be returned to the appropriate WEDs, Wehrersatzdienststelle, (Recruiting Offices), for inclusion in the individual’s official records. Regulations concerning handling of the Soldbuch were quite strict and although an individual had to present his Soldbuch to higher ranking, military police and guard personnel, as requested the Soldbuch was not to leave the owner’s sight and be returned immediately after examined. The only instance, besides death, that regulations permitted a Soldbuch to leave the recipient’s possession was on the case of legal arrest. Of Note: Heer, (Army), Luftwaffe, (Air Force), and Waffen-SS, Schutz-Staffel, (Armed-Protection Squad), security and precaution regulations to have a photograph of the recipient placed in the Soldbuch wasn’t enacted until mid-November 1943, while Kriegsmarine, ({War} Navy), regulations decreed the Soldbuch's were to have the recipient’s photograph applied as early as September 1941. The Heer, Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS regulations stated that training units have the photographs applied in the Soldbuch by April 1944 and combat units by December 1944, although the regulations were not always strictly adhered to. The SS basically followed the same system as the other branches of service but had instituted their own Ergänzungsstelle der Waffen-SS, (Replacement Centers of the Armed-SS), under the control of SS-Obergruppenführer Gottlob-Christian Berger of the SS-Hauptamt, (SS-Main Office), and in theory, could only recruit personnel on a voluntary basis although many personnel were "press-ganged" into service. In January 1945 the Ergänzungsstelle der Waffen-SS was combined with the army’s Wehrersatzdienststelle and was renamed Ergänzungsstellen des Heeres und der Waffen-SS, (Replacement Centers of the Army and the Armed-SS). Of Interest: As the war continued and man-power shortages became severe the standard criteria for acceptance into the Waffen-SS was decreased dramatically and numerous personnel who would have been unacceptable in 1939 were readily conscripted into service with the Waffen-SS. By the end of the war more then half of all the personnel serving in the Waffen-SS were non-Germans. On acceptance into full-time or auxiliary police service individuals were issued a Dienstausweis, (Service Identification Card), for use as identification and a Dienstpass (Service Pass), for internal administration to record the individual’s police service record. Service with the police did not exempt individuals from auxiliary military service and when called for service with the Wehrmachtgefolge, (Armed Forces Retinue), the civil police were issued a specific police Soldbuch. As a result of Reichsführer-SS , (National Leader of the SS), Heinrich Himmler appointment as Chef der Deutschen Polizei im Reichsministerium des Innern, (Chief of the German Police in the National Ministry of the Interior), in June 1936, all police agencies within Germany came under his control and quite often when called for service with the Wehrmachtgefolge the civil police personnel would be issued an SS Soldbuch. Of Note: Civil police serving as military auxiliaries were not considered military police and were generally employed in the rear areas to assist in controlling the general populace and anti-partisan actions, although as the war drew closer and closer to the home front they quite often found themselves in combat in the front lines. This example is an SS style Soldbuch issued to a policeman.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Later war issue, forty page book with a mid-weight, light tan, card stock cover with black printed SS runes and Latin script, "Soldbuch zugleich Personalausweis" (Pay Book & Personal Identity Document), with two, outer edge border stripes to the obverse. All pages and entries photographed.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $179.00

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